From education to employment

BSDC wins AoC Beacon Award for internationalism

Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) has won the prestigious British Council Award for Internationalism in the AoC Beacon Awards.

Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. The award supported by the British Council celebrates a college’s outstanding activities in international cooperation and exchange. As a winning college, BSDC demonstrated how international activity is embedded within the college’s broader aims and illustrated how organisational, staff, curriculum or student initiatives contribute to improved outcomes for students.

BSDC welcomes 300 international learners each year as far afield as East Asia and the USA. Not only does this international provision benefit the international learners, but also those in the wider college community, who have opportunities to expand their cultural horizons and take part in international exchange trips with the College’s overseas education partners.

During the pandemic, BSDC moved all international provision online and not only retained existing partners, but also won new business through innovative new programmes. The international department provided virtual opportunities for domestic learners and host families in the local community to continue to take part in international collaboration during this challenging time.

The College has a network of International Ambassadors who support and mentor international learners on their programme of study. This helps to enhance their world view, while developing key skills for their future careers, such as communication, teamwork, leadership and problem solving. BSDC’s extensive international partnerships also result in a range of cultural opportunities for learners, including trips to China and South Korea.

Dawn Ward CBE, Chief Executive and Principal of Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “We’re delighted to have won a prestigious AoC Beacon Award. We have worked hard to realise our ambition of becoming a global college to the maximum benefit of our learners, staff and local community. We are committed to embedding international experiences into our learner journey, enhancing learners’ skill set, cultural and business understanding and global outlook, better preparing them for success within a globalised economy.”    

Mark White, Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust said: “The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognises examples of excellent practical teaching and learning. The work of the winning colleges show how important colleges are in providing students with the necessary skills for the real world.”

Related Articles